the great banana split controversy

Fri Apr 7 22:06:22 UTC 2000

A student came into the library yesterday asking for information on
the history of the banana split.  I didn't arrive on the scene until
the tumult and shouting had died down, but my thought was to check
OED, which has a quote from George Ade from 1920.  Mariani's book
on American foods indicates that it can't be earlier than the mid
1890s, when bananas were first imported into this country in
quantity, but has no firm date befofe the 1920s.  The librarian who
handled the question had done a web search and found 3 conflicting
claims: Hazzard Drug Store, Wilmington, Ohio, 1907; Foeller's Drug
Store, Columbus, Ohio, 1904; Strickler's Drug Store, Latrobe, Pa.,
1904.  These came up through Google, searching "banana split origin"
(Wilmington, Ohio) and "banana split invention" (the other two).
All were among the first matches; checking more of the cites
retrieved might turn up even more claimants.  Wilmington, Ohio is so
fierce in defense of their right in this matter that they hold an
annual banana split festival.  My own recent experience with the "Big
Apple" fiasco has left me dubious about all information found through
the web.  Can anyone solve this problem?  It's a case for Barry


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